Falcons CEO Arthur Blank doesn’t think it was a mistake to pass on signing Lamar Jackson last offseason

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The Atlanta Falcons spent another year failing to find a franchise quarterback after moving on from Matt Ryan several years ago. Two seasons have come and gone and the Falcons don’t have a long-term answer at quarterback, nor a playoff appearance — despite playing in the poor NFC South. 

Atlanta hasn’t had a winning season or playoff appearance in six years. The Falcons finished with their third consecutive 7-10 season, juggling between Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke as starting quarterback throughout the year. The decision to go with those two quarterbacks instead of pursuing Lamar Jackson when he was available this offseason led to Arthur Smith’s firing on Monday, putting the Falcons in a rebuilding phase once again. 

Jackson, you may recall, was originally given the non-exclusive franchise tag by the Ravens, allowing him to negotiate with other teams with the ability to match any offer. All Atlanta had to do was call the Baltimore Ravens’ bluff and sign Jackson, forcing Baltimore to match the deal. If the Ravens didn’t match, the Falcons would have been forced to part with two first-round picks.

Simple right? 

“It’s easy to say yes given his year,” Falcons CEO Arthur Blank said at his end-of-season press conference Monday, via a team transcript. “He’s obviously an incredible player. We did not have the cap space. 

“I think the coaching staff felt – coaching, personnel, all of us – felt collectively, but certainly Coach and Terry (Falcons GM Terry Fontenot), that we had an answer in (Desmond) Ridder. A younger player without that kind of contract that would have kept us from actually building the team we wanted to build.”

The Falcons wanted a young quarterback on a rookie contract, hence the decision to stick with Ridder (and develop him). 

“What’s happened to us too often in the past, you’ve seen us, and many people in this room can remember players that we’ve drafted…

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Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/falcons-ceo-arthur-blank-doesnt-think-it-was-a-mistake-to-pass-on-signing-lamar-jackson-last-offseason/

Author : Jeff Kerr

Publish date : 2024-01-09 14:58:13

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